Clinical Ultrasound Education for Medical Students: Virtual Reality Versus e-Learning, a Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial

Mathias Rosenfeldt Nielsen, Erik Qvist, Rune Overgaard Jensen, Anne Milther Mollerup, Thorbjørn Pfeiffer, Ole Graumann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The primary aim was to evaluate the effect of immersive virtual reality learning for training medical students in basic clinical ultrasound. Secondary outcomes were to explore if virtual reality learning had an effect on hand-eye coordination skills and if the medical students wanted more virtual reality learning. This pilot study was a double-blind, parallel-group, block-randomized, controlled trial. Participants (n = 20) were blinded and randomized to virtual reality or e-learning for basic ultrasound education. Medical students with no previous ultrasound education were recruited voluntarily from the University of Southern Denmark. Data were collected during introductory courses on ultrasound from March to May 2019. Participants were assessed with Objective Structured Assessment on Ultrasound Skills. Assessing supervisors were blinded. The virtual reality group (n = 11) scored a significantly higher Objective Structured Assessment on Ultrasound Skills score (143 [95% confidence interval {CI}, 135 to 151]) compared with the e-learning group (n = 9; 126 [95% CI, 113 to 138]; mean difference, 17 points [95% CI, 4 to 30]; P < 0.01). No significant effect on the hand-eye score was found (mean difference, 3 points [95 % CI, -3 to 9]; P = 0.32). Ninety-one percent of the virtual reality group wanted more virtual reality learning. Immersive virtual reality learning improved medical students' ultrasound skills significantly compared with e-learning. The hand-eye score was higher in the virtual reality group, although not at a significant level. Students wanted more virtual reality learning. Further research is needed to clarify immersive virtual reality's educational role in the future.

Original languageEnglish
JournalUltrasound Quarterly
Volume37
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)292-296
ISSN0894-8771
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1. Sept 2021

Keywords

  • educational tool
  • immersive virtual reality
  • medical students
  • ultrasound
  • Clinical Competence
  • Pilot Projects
  • Computer-Assisted Instruction
  • Humans
  • Students, Medical
  • Virtual Reality

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